Fast Ferries

01 Oct 1998

Two of Incat`s latest newbuildings have both recently made record-breaking Atlantic crossings.
On June 10, the 91m wave-piercer catamaran Catalonia completed the 2,972 nautical mile Atlantic crossing from New York to Tarifa, Spain at an average speed of 38.877 knots (72 km/hr). This broke the 36.65 knot record previously set by another Incat-built vessel, Hoverspeed Great Britain, in 1990.
Catalonia also became the first vessel to sail more than 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km) in a 24-hour period. After its record-breaking run it entered service with owner Buquebus on the route between Barcelona and Mallorca.
Catalonia is the first vessel in the world to be fitted with Caterpillar 3618 engines. Each engine weighs 36.4t and develops 7,200kW (9,650 bhp), driving a transom-mounted Lips LJ145D water jet unit through a Renk ASL60 reduction gearbox.
Record broken again Nearly six weeks later the 91m Cat-Link V broke the record again, making the Atlantic crossing on the traditional Blue Riband route between the Nantucket Buoy and Bishop Rock at an average speed of 41.284 knots, despite having to divert to search for a light aircraft ditched in the North Atlantic.
Cat-Link V then continued to Denmark to join sistership Cat-Link IV on the 42 nautical mile crossing between Arhus and Kalundborg operated by Scandlines Cat-Link A/S.
The vessel`s standard AC electrical supply and distribution system is 415/240V three phase. To provide a high level of redundancy, two pairs of Caterpillar 230kW generators are provided, one pair in each hull, feeding power to independent main switchboards. The two main switchboards are linked by a bus tie, which allows multiple generators to operate in auto sequence and to share load. Each switchboard can be isolated in an emergency by tripping the bus tie.
Incat has used the ride control system developed by Maritime Dynamics. It has an active trim tab mounted at the transom of each hull to provide trim and motion dampening. When the vessel arrived in Barcelona, forward active T-foils were fitted.
In operation, the gain on pitch, roll and heave motions can be adjusted to give the best ride characteristics for a given sea condition, wave direction, and speed.
Cat-Link is in competition with the motorway bridge across the Great Belt, and the vessels` crossing time of 1hr 15 mins has to be supported by a fast turnaround time in port. The two vessels have each been fitted with an additional vehicle access door, located forward on the port side, which in conjunction with the stern ramps, allows 220 cars to be unloaded in eight minutes, says Incat.
On the forward end of the full-length main vehicle deck, port and starboard internal ramps lead to two half-length upper decks located in the forward half of the vessel. The side vehicle access door is located on the deck above the main vehicle deck, allowing vehicles access to all decks via the ramps.
Cat-Link V is powered by four 20-cylinder Ruston RK270 diesel engines, each with an output of 7,080kW (9,490 bhp) at 1,030 rev/min.
Activity at Austal
In June, the first of Austal Ships` 86m Auto Express catamarans, Adnan Menderes, entered service with Turkish ferry operator Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri. With a maximum deadweight of 400t, the vessel has an added freight potential, with room to carry up to ten buses and trucks in addition to cars.
The propulsion package consists of four MTU 20V 1163 TB73L engines, developing 26,000kW (34,850 bhp) at 1,275 rev/min, each powering a Kamewa 112 SII through a Reintjes VLJ4431 gearbox. On sea trials the vessel achieved a maximum speed of 42 knots at 100 per cent MCR at the trial deadweight of 340t. IDO`s intended 37-knot service speed for the vesel can be achieved at less than 80 per cent MCR with a full load, representing significant reductions in operational costs, says Austal.
To handle the 2m significant wave height typically experienced on the vessel`s 65 mile route between the Turkish ports of Yenikapi and Bandirma across the Sea of Marmara, a variation of Austal`s Ocean Leveller ride control system is fitted. This features T-foils forward and interceptors aft. Adnan Menderes is the first of Austal`s 80m range catamarans to feature these variable interceptors, says Austal.
Vehicle capacity is 200 cars, or ten buses and 75 cars. The nine main deck lanes and six mezzanine deck lanes are accessed through the 9.85m-long stern ramp. Vehicles embark/disembark via the stern ramp only, completing an onboard U-turn at the bow. The two bus/freight lanes in the centre of the vehicle deck are over 7m wide and have an overhead clear height of 4.4m. The maximum axle load is 12t, but this is expected to be upgraded to 15t in future.
The vessel`s 1,700m2 of public spaces can accommodate 800 passengers on two decks, either via midship entrances or the stern stairwells. There is space on the main deck for 654 passengers. The aft and forward lounges are fitted mainly with tables and chairs, while the side saloons aft of the atrium to port and starboard feature airline-style seating in 2 x 2 x 2 configuration. The forward restaurant seats 80. The bridge deck accommodates 46 business class passengers, plus two VIP suites for ten people each.
There is a restaurant, buffet and bar/kiosks, shopping arcade, children`s play area, and male and female prayer rooms.
Adnan Menderes will be joined on the route in December by sistership Turgut Ozal.
Austal delivered the first mid-size version of its Auto Express range for the French Caribbean fast ferry operator L`Express de Iles in April.
The 48m Jade Express has a service speed of 38 knots and can carry 330 passengers and ten cars. The vessel`s vehicle deck can also be used to carry cargo if required.
This size of vessel has been chosen to test the demand for car-carrying capacity on the 110 nautical mile route between Pointe a Pitre, Guadaloupe and Fort De France, Martinique, a journey time of 3 hrs 15 mins.
A 30 min turnaround in port is possible because cars embark and disembark the vehicle deck via a hydraulically operated 3m wide port side ramp located aft. This allows the vessel to berth at existing docks with only simple shore-based ramps needed to reach the height of the car deck. The clear height of the vehicle deck is 2.1m, and forward of the vehicle bays an 18m3 area is provided for baggage and cargo.
Propulsion is via four MTU 16V 396TE74L diesel engines, developing 1,980kW (2,655 bhp) each driving a Kamewa 63 SII waterjet through a Reintjes VLJ 930 gearbox via Geislinger carbon composite shaftlines. This is the first time one of Austal`s medium-sized vessels has been fitted with these shaftlines.
The 38 knot service speed was achieved at 90 per cent MCR, and top speed is 40 knots. The operator has subsequently ordered a second, similar sized 35 knot vessel from Austal.

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